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Sontag, Susan. SUSAN SONTAG: "LITERATURE IS FREEDOM", THE FRIEDENSPREIS ACCEPTANCE SPEECH. New York City, NY: William Drenttel/Winterhouse Editions, 2004. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 48 pages. As New.

The author's Acceptance Speech upon receiving the German Peace Prize, known in Germany itself as the Friedenspreis des Deutschen. One of Susan Sontag's final works, it is one of the greatest literary texts of the new century. Deluxe Edition of 300 copies. Should not be confused with the regular trade paperback edition. Part of what is now an impressive body of published work by Winterhouse Editions, titles that are characterized by originality of thought and brilliance of fiction, presented in contemporary, Minimalist-inspired graphic design that only a fine small press can bring off successfully. An austerely elegant production by Don Whelan and William Drenttel: Small-size volume format. Rich red-orange silk cloth boards with titles printed on art paper and pasted on spine, as issued. Text by Susan Sontag. Printed on thick cream stock paper in the United States to absolutely the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Presents the full text of the author's speech upon receiving the German Peace Prize (Germany's Nobel Prize) on October 12, 2003 at the Frankfurt Paulskirche, with the President and state officials of the Federal Republic of Germany in attendance. The American Ambassador to Germany (a certain Daniel Coats) pointedly refused to attend, and Sontag begins her magnificent speech by reminding him in absentia that his job as ambassador is to represent all Americans, not just the Republican Party or the Bush Government that secured him his important ambassadorial post. Against the background of one of her lifelong themes, "The Old" (Europe) versus "The New" (America), Sontag talks movingly about the relation between literature and freedom as only she, among American writer/intellectuals of our time, possibly could: "To have access to literature, world literature, was to escape the prison of national vanity, of philistinism, of compulsory provincialism, of inane schooling, of imperfect destinies and bad luck. Literature was the passport to enter a larger life; that is, the zone of freedom. Literature was freedom. Especially in a time in which the values of reading and inwardness are so strenuously challenged, literature is freedom" (Susan Sontag). Sontag died on December 28, 2004 at the relatively young age of 71, her work unfinished, a one-of-a-kind writer who is a heartbreaking, irreplaceable loss to contemporary life and literature. She was already too ill to oversee the book's production, and it was not officially released until early-2005. "Literature Is Freedom" is a summation in a mere 48 pages of her lifework. A "must-have" title for Susan Sontag collectors. This title has had very limited distribution and is now difficult to find. This is one of only two copies still available online and has no flaws, a pristine beauty. A very scarce copy thus. Winner of the MacArthur Genius Grant, the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977 for "On Photography", the National Book Award in 2000 for "In America", and the Jerusalem Prize in 2001. Shimon Peres, in awarding the Jerusalem Prize, described Sontag as "one of the world's finest writers and greatest minds". One of the most influential and important American writer-intellectuals of the 20th century. A flawless copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER SUSAN SONTAG TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 1884381200. $50.00

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